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March 28, 2007

New Arrivals

Filed under: Green Tea,Oolong Tea,Tea Enjoyment — Administrator @ 5:16 pm

It’s hanami (or flower viewing in Japanese) time!? To celebrate that we have several new Cherry Themed teas.?

  • Cherry Blossom -Sencha based with a divine sour cherry flavor
  • Black Forest Temptation – a unique combination of Sencha and Mate with a cherry finish
  • Sweet Cherry – A rooibos base with lovely bing cherry flavor

In addition, we have a new black tea from Vietnam.? It makes a wonderful morning tea, that you’ll soon add to your favorites list.

More to come!

March 26, 2007

Tea Time: An English Tradition

Filed under: Black Tea,Tea Culture,Tea Enjoyment,Tea preparation — Administrator @ 1:43 pm

Until the beginning of the 19th century, there was no formalized tea tradition in England. The now well known and popular “Afternoon Tea” was first introduced in the 1840s by Anna Maria, 7th Duchess of Bedford. Since the time between a light luncheon and the customary late dinner was long and she suffered from hunger pangs by mid-afternoon, she instructed her maid to serve a cup of tea together with a light refreshment in her boudoir.? The Duchess found this arrangement so pleasant that she soon started to invite her friends to join her for afternoon tea.? Before too long, what started in the Duchess’ boudoir quickly became a fashionable pastime for England’s aristocracy.? Afternoon Tea became a popular social event revolving around gossip and showing off the latest fashion while sipping tea. By the late 1860s, cook books and household manuals included detailed instructions on how to organize a tea party, what food to serve, where to place the furniture, what to wear and what entertainment to arrange.

This elegant, stylish afternoon was also at one time called “Low Tea” (because tea and refreshments were served on small, low tables) and should not be confused with the tradition of English “High Tea”.? Contrary to common belief, High Tea has nothing to do with “High Society”, but ? developed during the Industrial Revolution, when workers spent long days in factories, mines and offices. It consisted of a hearty and satisfying meal accompanied by a pot of tea. Unlike Afternoon tea which was and still is served in an elegant setting, High Tea is served in the kitchen or dining room with the family seated in “high-backed” chairs around the table.

March “Ask Souvia”

Filed under: Newsletter,Phoenix,Tea Classes,Tea Enjoyment,Tea in Arizona,Tea preparation — Administrator @ 8:39 am
Dear Souvia:? How much loose tea do? I need for my teapot?

? We recommend starting with 1 measuring teaspoon for every 6 ounces of water.? Aren’t sure how much water your heirloom teapot holds?? Fill it with water and empty into a measuring cup.? ? Check the ounces and divide by 6!? Use heaping teaspoons for large leaf teas like White Silver Needle.

Dear Souvia:? Is High Tea the same as Afternoon Tea?

No!? The Afternoon Tea Tradition started in the 1800’s when Lady Bedford had an Afternoon snack prepared to tide her over until dinner.? High Tea was so-called due to the high tables it was often served on.? It was a full meal and not like anything served at a typical Tearoom.? Many people use these terms interchangeably but they are very different things.

Dear Souvia:? What is Chai??

Chai is actually a Southern Asian word for Tea not unlike the word Cha in China and Japan.? In practice, Chai is a blend of tea and spices as unique to a household as your Uncle’s secret Chili recipe.? In some cultures, Chai implies tea steeped in milk with added herbs and spices.? So, Chai defines a class of tea blends but each is unique!

Find more questions and answers on our FAQ.